Sorry for the break

I’ll have to remember that the fall doesn’t lend itself well to writing. Between all of the holidays, and the doldrums of the weather in my city, it’s hard to get motivated.

I’ve decided to try for a more realistic schedule of twice a week. The PPACA is likely to be with us for a while, so it’s probably ok to actually post, rather than trying to kill myself and not post at all.

Part 2 of Title III of the PPACA calls for a National Strategy to Improve Health Care Quality. It should be obvious that the easiest way to cut costs is to just provide substandard care. It should be equally obvious that is a ridiculous idea. Recognizing this, we must continue to improve quality while reducing cost.

Section 3011 calls for the creation of mechanisms to identify what would improve the quality of health care in the US. It also calls for improving the outcomes, efficiency and patient-centeredness of health care. It is an assumption that these things will relate positively to quality, but it seems a reasonable one.

Section 3012 creates an interagency working group on health care quality. The agencies are listed in the Act, so I won’t repeat them here, but they include everyone you would think of, like the CDC, FDA, and CMS (Medicare and Medicaid) and some agencies you probably didn’t know existed, like the Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality (a real stretch for those guys to be in on this J ) , and some you might not have thought of being involved, like the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They have been meeting since 2010, and you can find their reports here: http://www.ahrq.gov/workingforquality/

Section 3013 calls for the development of a measure of quality of healthcare. The measure should be based on health outcomes, management of care, quality of information and decision making, meaningful use of health technology, safety, efficiency, equity, patient experience, and innovation.

Section 3014 also discussed quality measurements. In this case, it solicits stakeholder input. Not sure why that needed its own whole section, but whatever.

Section 3015 creates a framework to collect the necessary data for these measures and then disseminate it to the public.

Not a lot of substance there, but then it was intended to create working groups. The reports those groups produced contain much more information, but I’ll let you read those yourself.

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